Christmas classics, original musicals and concerts from reknown artists are found on West Valley theater stages this holiday season.
From Theater Works’ annual production of “Miracle on 34th Street” to Jose Feliciano at Del E. Webb Center for Performing Arts, there will be plenty of holiday cheer to go around.
ARIZONA BROADWAY THEATRE
ABT is helping families celebrate the holidays with a wide range of shows on its main stage and in the Encore Room.
“Home for the Holidays,” which runs Dec. 10-24 on the main stage, is an original musical written by Stacey Gordon and Layne Phillips, with favorite Christmas songs about a troupe of actors who find the true meaning of the holidays after being stranded in a small town.
For the children, ABT’s Theatre for Young Audiences presents “Christmas in the Land of Oz,” a spin-off of the beloved Frank L. Baum classic. Next door in the Encore Room, “It’s a Wonderful Life — A Radio Play” will offer a different approach to the Jimmy Stewart film.
A series of main stage concerts are being performed throughout the season as well. Robert Shaw returns for one night with his show, “Blue Christmas: A Holiday Tribute to the King,” which mixes Christmas songs with Elvis’ biggest hits.
Entertainer John Davidson, known as the host of “Hollywood Squares” and “That’s Incredible,” will have two performances of his show “Laugh Lines and Love Songs.” Branson, Miss., favorite George Dwyer is bringing his special opera and Broadway to ABT’s stage with “The George Dwyer Show.”
ABT is at 7701 W. Paradise Lane in Peoria. For information, call 623-776-8400 or visit www.azbroadwaytheatre.com.
The Peoria community theater stages are busy during the Christmas season with a holiday tradition on the main stage and several new shows.
Theater Works and Ballet Academy of Arizona are presenting the first annual children’s “Nutcracker Ballet,” which opens this weekend. Children ages 3 to 18 will perform the “Nutcracker” in New York City Ballet costumes.
“Miracle on 34th Street” returns for a third year and again features actor Fred Bornhoeft in his AriZoni Award-nominated role as Mr. Kringle. Theater Works Artistic Director Robyn Allen directs the cast, which includes many local families.
In the black box theater, YOUth Works will open the holiday musical “The Littlest Angel,” directed by Shelly Trujillo. The story revolves around a little angel who is transformed from a celestial pest to the toast of the Heavenly Host.
In addition, Theater Works is debuting a new program, Puppet Works, with the premiere of the original show “Saving Santa.” Ideal for children ages 3 and up, the puppet show focuses on the secret existence of Santa and how that’s threatened by some meddling kids. It’s up to some clever talking presents to save the day.
Theater Works is at 8355 W. Peoria Ave. in Peoria. For information, call 623-815-1791 or visit www.theaterworks.org.
Two other West Valley youth theaters will perform holiday shows, including a classic and an original rock musical.
Spotlight Youth Theatre in Glendale opens with the “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” which centers on a bunch of unruly children who have roles in the church play and tell the Christmas story in an unconventional method.
The youth troupe is at 10620 N. 43rd Ave. in Glendale. For information, call 623-521-8093 or visit www.spotlightyouththeatre.org.
Creative Stages Youth Theatre is premiering the original rock musical “Merry Christmas, Frankenstein.” The show is written and directed by Bobby Sample, with music by several of the troupe’s actors.
The show revolves around the famous mad scientist’s niece, Zenith Frankenstein, who arrives just in time to use her own talents of invention to save her uncle and friends from a population driven by fear and hysteria. But she’ll need the help of her new family of ghosts, monsters and misfits, along with confidence, to pull it off.
CSYT is at 19209 N. 83rd Ave., Suite 106 in Peoria. For information, visit ww.csyt.org.
Del E. Webb Center for Performing Arts in Wickenburg also has two holiday concerts.
Multiple Grammy Award winner Jose Feliciano brings his music and signature Christmas song “Feliz Navidad” to the theater with “Feliz Navidad: 40th Anniversary Tour.”
Vibrant Irish fiddler Eileen Ivers and her band, Immigrant Soul, will perform “An Nollaig — An Irish Christmas.” The concert features traditional Irish songs and dances set to holiday favorites arranged by Ivers, who was a violinist in the original “Riverdance.”
The Webb Center is at 1090 S. Vulture Mine Road in Wickenburg. For information, call 928-684-6624 or www.delewebbcenter.org.